Photo blog: Ice, Ice, Baby - Playing with midges in Iceland

So far my posts have only included our adventures around Iceland. This week I'll feature some of the science that brought us here in the first place and the research that we spend the majority of our time doing.

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Midges are the reason we’re in Myvatn. These small flies emerge by the billions from the lake and control the ecosystem by transporting nutrients from the lake to the surrounding land.

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Cores are used to sample the substrate of the lake and give us an idea of how many midge larva are at the bottom of the lake.

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Infall cups measure the number of midges falling onto and fertilizing the land surrounding Lake Myvatn while head nets keep the swarms out of your mouth.

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One way we sample for insects is by vacuuming plots. #science

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Most of the time in the lab is spent counting samples under a scope.

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Pinguicula vulgaris, a carnivorous plant common in subarctic areas. My individual experiment looked at differences in growth rate in response to the number of midges it catches.

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The field work for my experiment required us to survey plots at various distances from the lake.

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It’s kind of like being at the beach?

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7yfISlGLNU

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Field work can get pretty tiring.

Photos by Alex Krowiak/Gavel Media

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